Climate Negotiator Contemplates Future of Paris Agreement Without the U.S.

Climate Negotiator Contemplates Future of Paris Agreement Without the U.S.

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Negotiators celebrate the Paris Accord at COP21
January 21, 2020

2020 will be a crucial year for the Paris Agreement. An architect of the climate process considers the implications of the U.S. presidential election, and what might be accomplished in the months ahead.

In November of this year the 195 countries that are part of the Paris Climate process will hold their annual summit in Glasgow, Scotland. At the talks, countries are expected to announce more aggressive greenhouse gas reduction targets. The new targets will come in response to recent reports from the UN and others that highlight both the dangers of a warming climate, and the inadequacy of current efforts to keep warming to a minimum.

Yet concern is growing over whether the vital goals of the Glasgow conference can be met.  Recently, at the COP25 summit in Madrid in December, countries remained far apart on key rules to guide implementation of the Paris Agreement going forward. What’s more, 2020 could prove to be a year of climate limbo, as the world awaits the outcome of the U.S. presidential election and whether the U.S. will return to the Paris process and resume a leadership role.

Andrew Light, an architect of the U.S. involvement in the Paris Climate Agreement, talks about the current status of the Paris climate process, and what we might expect as 2020 unfolds.

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